Childhood inactivity and obesity

Childhood inactivity and obesity has been on the rise significantly in the United States for the past few decades. More and more children are becoming overweight at younger ages. The percentage of children who are obese has tripled in the last 30 years, and it is estimated that 9 million children between the ages of 6 and 19 years are considered to be overweight. Data suggests that 15% of all children ages 2 to 11 years are considered obese. Today's youths are steadily getting less activity as the years pass. With all the new technology that has been coming out the children are preoccupied with video games, computer websites, and hundreds of television channels. They never have time or want to make time for the traditional activities that help keep the children active and healthy. These activities include: neighborhood baseball, basketball, jump rope, and tag to name a few. Quick Stats gives data on today's age specific activity.

As simple as these activities sound, they kept the children of the world healthy for years before this age of technology engulfed society. As with everything, there is a ratio with activity. As activity decreases, obesity and health problems increase. Childhood obesity is becoming an important issue in the US today.

-Since 1960 obesity has increased 55% in elementary school children and 39% in high school students.
-25% of all school aged children are obese; there is a high likelihood that they will remain obese into adulthood.
-30% of all school aged children are at risk for heart disease and premature death as adults

A study was conducted by a group of researcher at three different schools- The University of South Carolina, Michigan State University, and East Carolina University. This study was published in the journal Child Development. It found that kids 3–5 years old in 24 community-based preschool programs were mostly inactive throughout the day. 89% of their activity was classified as sedentary. Even when they were outside and expected to be active, 56% of their activities were sedentary. They also found that teacher encouragement was very low they hardly ever did. However, when balls and other active toys were put outside the activity level greatly increased. "'The low levels of children's activity and the lack of adult encouragement point to a need for teachers to organize, model, and encourage physical activity,' according to William H. Brown, professor in the College of Education at USC and the study's lead author."